Sunday, July 3, 2011

Side trip to Sipi Falls

Last December we did an emergency relief up in northern Uganda and after two days of distribution we headed back to Kampala. We decided we needed a little side trip and drove east to Mbale and over to Sipi Falls. This was our first visit to the Mt. Elgon area.
(In March 2010 when we had first arrived in Uganda the Glenns had just finished an emergency relief in this area for the victims of the Bududa landslides. The victims were relocated over to where we were now doing emergency relief in Amuria where they had had a crop failure from heavy rains. Life has not been easy for these people.)
Ssimbwa wanted to show us Sipi Falls. We were dressed in our missionary clothes, sandals for me and Elder Barlow had on his dress shoes. We asked Ssimbwa if we needed to change shoes but he said no it was an easy hike and not far.
The hike wasn't difficult except it was very rocky and slippery from the mist coming off the falls. We could hardly stay on our feet with our smooth bottom shoes. The scenery was beautiful and well worth the hike. When we were finished we were drenched but we had had an experience of a life time. People come from all over the world to climb these mountains. We didn't realize it at the time that this was one of the most beautiful places in Africa.
Terraced gardens all over the mountainside - cabbage, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, corn, bananas.
We were walking through peoples gardens and they wanted to be our guide. Mathias was assigned to get me safely to the top. He stayed very close, got me a stick to steady myself and pulled me up the rocky path keeping me from slipping and falling.

This woman had quite a load, was walking in gum boots and was having no difficulty climbing the trail
Not sure why the man wasn't carrying anything - looks like he could have shared her load or something.
Good thing there were some plateaus along the way which allowed us to catch our breath.
Even this far away the mist had soaked through our clothes and we were wet.
Mathias took good care of me. He had his work cut out for him as I was sliding all over the mountain but he never let me fall, not once.
The falls continue down a gorge from here. You can't hike much higher than this unless you drive up to the top and hike down. This was a beautiful spot, We stood in a heavy mist that felt like a light rain. We were soaked through.
This is a precarious spot as two feet behind us was the drop into the gorge.
Going down was faster and we slid most of the way. Elder Barlow was assigned a guide (watcher) but he didn't need his help he just slipped and slid all the way to the bottom all by his self.
The children ran up and down the trail barefooted like it was no effort at all. They ran to fast to slip or slid.
At the bottom the river runs very swift. We wondered where all that water was going. The need for clean water here is no less than everywhere else in Uganda. Looks like a good deal of water could be harnessed from this flow.
Thanks Ssimbwa for another great day. He is a great guide and it is always an adventure.


Melinda said...

WOW! Incredible Falls and Beautiful Children!!! :)

Unknown said...

I love reading about all of the wonderful things that you are accomplishing on your mission! My son, Elder Rennie, just loves you guys. Thanks for the great example you are setting for him and for all of us. Best wishes, Jeanie Rennie

Eliza said...

I wish we could have joined you on that hike. It's very beautiful.

LBJ said...

We were with the Binghams about you and your kindness to them and it made me want to check in on your blog, even though we're pretty busy getting our feet on the ground in Kinshasa. But I'm so glad I did. What wonderful things you do. We're always so amazed at the places you go and the people you meet. You're so brave!!We hope to go with the Binghams someday and see one of the amazing projects that Humanitarian missionaries do. Your work is life changing and life saving and I love reading about it.
Thanks for sharing.